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Starting Your Own Functional Medicine Practice: A Guide for Doctors Who Do It All

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the use of nutrient boosts is increasing in the US. Also, the number of Americans using dietary supplements has risen from 56.6% between 2017 and 2018.

Functional medicine practitioners are living in an exciting period right now. As more and more patients look for solutions to their long-term health concerns. What was once seen as “alternative” medicine is now entering mainstream practice.

So, are you interested in functional medicine practice? This article looks into issues you may face and identifies the major factors that can benefit you.

What is a Functional Medicine Doctor?

A functional medicine doctor restores their patients’ natural and physical body functions. By doing so, it reverses the disease processes. Functional medicine doctors can do this in the following ways:

  • The use of diet, exercise, and nutrition
  • With the use of prescribed botanical medicines
  • By the use of recent lab tests and other diagnostic methods
  • Using supplements, detoxification processes, and stress management methods.

How to Become a Functional Medicine Doctor?

For you to become a functional medicine doctor, you must have a license in a primary specialty and one of these qualifications:

  •  Medical Doctor
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Naturopathic Doctor
  • Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Acupuncturist
  • Pharmacist
  • Doctor of Chiropractic
  • Physician Assistant

But, being a functional medicine doctor is one side of the coin. To start practicing, you need to have basic skills on how to run your business. Then, you can start a program in a functional medicine business institute to get ideas that are not taught in medical school. There are plenty of business aspects to functional medicine that you need to understand to succeed. For example, you need to know how to market your services, set up appointments, and deal with insurance companies.

You also need to understand the billing process and coding for insurance purposes. If you plan on opening your own practice, you’ll need to know business law and how to obtain the necessary licenses and permits.

We will discuss it as we go further.

Guide for Starting Your Own Functional Medicine Practice

It’s great to take control of your medical career by opening your own practice. But it’s also challenging and intricate.

It would help if you had a clear and detailed plan from the start to stay on track for your business to be a success. You may launch a functional medicine practice using this step-by-step manual.

Funding options

No matter what kind of business you’re starting, funding is a must.

It’s time to start thinking like an entrepreneur instead of a medical professional. The levels of managing a business and caring for people differ. Access to your funds or a small business loan simplifies managing a small business.

But when running a clinic with various disciplines, organic stores, gyms, and so on, you need funds.

You’ll need a planning team to get things underway, with at least one member with expertise in raising money.

Let’s discuss the many forms of funding.

Your family or friends are your first choices. Make sure the person can handle the positive and negative aspects before making your choice. Ensure you see it as a loan and pay it back as quickly as possible.

A family member as a business partner is both a blessing and a curse. So, make sure there is proper documentation of the roles. Also, it should state what and how they will get their share of the profit.

Your second option should be the Small Business Administration (SBA). It is a financial institution that lends money at a shallow interest rate.

Private investors are the third funding option. There are two kinds of investors: angel investors and venture capitalists.

Angel investors are particular about the kind of businesses they invest in. They also make decisions about the operations and future of the business.

while the latter buys shares and requires more return on funding than any other investor. Another funding option you can also try is crowdfunding.

Cost Acquisition

Do you have any idea what it costs to start a medical practice? It includes all expenses for getting a new patient, not just the initial sale price. Ads for healthcare in Google searches cost businesses, on average, $2.62 per click.

You should know that patient acquisition costs comprise marketing costs for television and radio advertisements. Also, for flyers, leaflets, pamphlets, web ads, and email campaigns.

It is also for the cost of salaries, tools, taxes, and other expenses you have during a specific period.

It’s a good idea to know your patient acquisition cost to see how much money you spend to expand your practice. Besides, it may assist you in determining which techniques are good and which are not.

It’s a straightforward idea, but it’s a crucial one. Knowing the cost will help you better grasp the forces that motivate your company.

Communication and Client’s Experience

You may leave a lasting impact by boosting your interaction with your client. It also gives them their most pleasing experience.

The happier your clients are, the more likely they are to refer friends and family who need your services to you.

Word-of-mouth advertising is an effective tactic. Also, with the correct client experience, you can be sure that your clients will sing your praises.

Ways to communicate with clients are as follows:

  • Sending appointment reminders or health tips through emails.
  • Produce brochures with information about services and procedures.
  • Give out items like pens or notepads with your practice brand on them.
  • Create a patient survey to find out areas to improve.
  • Make yourself easy to access for patients.

Well-being Initiatives

According to a recent report, more than a third of working Americans (35%) have severe work stress. Also, fewer than half say their workplace provides ways to help manage their stress.

A good employee well-being program must have a structured and effective communication strategy.

Employees must be on board with your new initiative and appreciate its benefits. They must also have the support of their leaders to succeed.

Let’s look at the steps for putting your employee wellness program into place and keeping it that way.

  • Give a clinic-wide well-being survey.
  • Build a well-being program from employee feedback.
  • Encourage employees to join and listen to their ideas.
  • Educate them on the benefits.
  • Measure the improvement.

Accountability

In the healthcare sector, accountability is crucial. A lack of responsibility in the healthcare industry can harm your company.

It can erode the quality of care, ruin your firm’s reputation, and increase the risk of lawsuits. It also puts patients’ lives at risk.

A recent study states that medical errors claim the lives of more than 210,000 patients every year. If staff had followed the policies, it might have prevented many of those incidents.

Accountability helps prevent such mistakes. Holding yourself and your staff accountable enables you to learn and improve operations.

A culture of responsibility in your clinic enhances doctor-patient relationships. It will also reduce resource waste and deliver higher-quality care.

Bottom Line

It can be complex to start your practice. But you’ll position yourself for future growth by taking things one at a time and making wise choices.

Make a plan for your functional medicine practice using the advice in this article. Your desire is right on your doorstep.

 

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